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Transcript of Distinctively Visual
Run Lola Run
Film By Tom Tykwer
Picture Book By Helen Ward and Marc Craste
"THERE WAS ONCE... only the sound of bees and the wind in the wiry grass, the low murmuring of moles in the cool dark earth... and the song of birds in the high blue sky."
The triple split screen places Manni, Lola and a clock that reads 11:59:59 together to highlight the relationship that the constraints of time has between Manni and Lola. The whole film revolves around the 20 minutes in which Lola's mission occurs, so naturally time is a restraint on their circumstance. It is composed in such a way that the clock is beneath Lola and Manni, possibly alluding to the idea that time is creeping up on them. Together with the slow motion of the seconds hand, this split screen truly emphasises the idea that time is precious and that a slight variance in timing can make a huge difference in the outcome of a situation.
The use of slow motion of the seconds hand as it approaches 12pm creates tension to make the audience wonder whether Lola will arrive and meet Manni in time before he decides to rob the supermarket. The idea about the importance of every single waking second is therefore implied, as only a few seconds separated Lola's future from one alternative to the next (whether Lola is late and Manni robs the supermarket, or Lola arrives sooner and a different scenario ensues.)
This image is effective in presenting the issue of time as being a constraint on our lives and the idea that differing times can result in an altered outcome. It uses specific composition of a three way split screen and slow motion to aid in the visual perception of the audience on the idea of time.
Change is explored in
through the juxtaposition of the front and back cover. In
, the front cover is a striking depiction of the main creature who is salient and staring at the readers. It is surrounded by plants in a natural, sepia hue, has his ears pricked and is looking hopeful and happy. Compare this to the back cover and you will notice that while the creature is still salient and staring at you, that is where the similarities end. It looks sad and scared, has his ears down, and is surrounded by a dark, shadowy background of buildings. The contrast of the light and change in his expression highlight the difference in mood from the front to the back cover. It is obvious through this juxtaposition that a change has occurred not only in the environment, but within the creature. His stare is used to capture the attention of the audience to evoke sympathy and to entice readers to open the book to discover the source of change.
In what I call the 'Calm Before the Storm' image (above) we can see in the foreground a creature who is carefully tending to some plants, and in the background some similar animals that are gazing to the right at more sinister looking creatures that are approaching. A storm looms over the 'varmints' as they advance, pulling by ropes and chains something that the reader cannot see due to intentional cropping. The omission of what the 'varmints' are dragging leads the readers to imagine what they may be bringing through their own knowledge and experiences. The storm, which symbolises unforeseen and abrupt destruction is a metaphor for the coming disturbance of peace and a complete and sudden change in the natural world, which the reader witnesses once they turn the page. The ropes and chains also act as vectors to lead the viewers reading path to the edge of the page, and subsequently encourages them to turn the page to discover what happens.
We notice once we turn to this page that the 'varmints' were dragging with them tall skyscrapers and towers that have completely destroyed the beautiful natural environment on the previous page as they exploit the area and industrialise or urbanise the land.
The ropes and chains are symbolic of power, force and strength and so represent the 'varmints' control over the destruction of the land.
The dark colour and dust is symbolic of the melancholy mood that accompanies the destruction of nature.
Through a rapid succession of still images of the mother's life after her run in with Lola, it is implied that Lola's actions have actually impacted the destiny of the woman. The use of this flash-forward on each of the three runs shows that a slight change in the way Lola runs into the woman results in dramatic change in the course of the woman's life. In the first run, as shown through these images, the woman loses her child to children services and ultimately steals another baby from a pram. The change from film to photographs further emphasises that these events are in the future, and beyond the scope of the narrative of
Run Lola Run.
The use of images is also very effective in telling the story of the woman in a short amount of time, due to the point that pictures tell a thousand words.
In this image, the 'Lightbulb Moment' image, the creature is salient and stares directly at the audience, with his plant beside him. He is literally framed by a window which represents his and the plant's metaphorical imprisonment within society, due to the creature's completely opposite attitude regarding his natural world compared to the 'Varmints.' In the orb of light, or"lightbulb" above his head, which symbolises an idea, or thought, the words "It was TIME!" appear. This exclamation refers to the creature's decision to do finally something about the deterioration of nature. He takes things into his own hands to nurture the plants and shows that even a single individual can make a difference.
Lola uses her powerful scream 3 times in the film as a way of releasing a buildup of pressure to clear her mind and gain control. The symbolism of her screams' ability to shatter glass represents the power of her scream, which is a measure of her will power and desire to control the situation. Lola is seen hands clenched and red faced, in a zooming shot during the casino scene where Lola's scream (and maybe a little bit of magic) seems to influence the result of the roulette game. The effect of her stance and expression is that the audience is aware of her control over the situation due to her sheer will power and almighty scream.
~Time and Change~
~Control and Hope~
Varmints= obnoxious and irritating pest
The establishing shot of the main river and surrounding city of Berlin in
Run Lola Run
is shown in an overhead birds eye shot to provide the audience with a setting for the film. It is clear from the image that the city is densely populated and from a western country. It is important that this image sets the scene in the western world as many of the concepts explored in the film, such as the consuming effect of time on developed societies, are significant to people from western nations. Overall this establishing shot helps the audience imagine the rest of the movie as being in a huge city, which is quite opposite to the effect of the imagery in
, which causes the readers to imagine a place of beauty and peace before the Varmints take over.
"...their hopes and wishes took to the air like new seeds upon the wind."
The simile of the hopes and wishes taking to the air like new seeds on the wind symbolises the creature's hopeful outlook regarding the regeneration of nature. 'New seeds on the wind' is a reference to birth and new life, which symbolises the creature's hope that a new beginning is about to arrive. In the image, the creature stares up at a shaft of light, which itself symbolises hope and the prospect that the creature's wishes for nature's regeneration will be granted. The creature looks up, showing that he is hopeful that something from above has heard his prayers. The creature displays 2 shadows, alluding to the idea that from this point in the book, the creature's future could go in either of two directions; his wishes and hopes may be granted, or they will not.